On October 1, 2013 USALI and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at NYU Law met with a five-member ministerial-level delegation from the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) to discuss human rights curricula in legal education institutions.
VASS is a research institution under the Government of Vietnam with 37 research institutes and centers, and is comprised of over 900 professors, associate professors, and high-degree holders in the social sciences. VASS recently established a Graduate Academy of Social Sciences to conduct research, advise the government, and provide master’s and doctoral degrees in the law and social science fields and public policy. Human rights issues have become an urgent issue in Vietnam. The delegation came to the U.S. to explore and discuss different models of graduate training and research on human rights.
The three main purposes of the delegation visit were to:
1. Engage in academic exchange of experiences in research and education of human rights;
2. Build partnerships for cooperation in developing research, education and human rights training, and for formulating policy advice on human rights issues, laws and legal enforcement;
3. Enhance VASS’ capacity to provide training in human rights at their institute and in Vietnam. This includes exploring training programs, teaching curriculum, teaching materials/ books and learning about what students are expected to know and be able to do, what amount of training is classroom, thesis writing, faculty mentoring, externship, and so forth, the relationship between teaching and research, and the link between research and policy.
Joined by USALI Program Director Trinh Duong and NYU Law student Wendy Liu ('14), USALI Co-Director Professor Jerome Cohen and CHRGJ Faculty Director Professor Philip Alston discussed their experience with developing human rights curricula and programs for legal education settings. Additionally, Ms. Liu spoke about her experience in the International Human Rights Clinic, and delegation members discussed their interest in corporate social responsibility and environmental protection training.